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Belfast, United Kingdom

Flynn C.,Tissue Pathology | James J.,Tissue Pathology | James J.,Queens University of Belfast | Maxwell P.,Tissue Pathology | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2014

Molecular medicine is transforming modern clinical practice, from diagnostics to therapeutics. Discoveries in research are being incorporated into the clinical setting with increasing rapidity. This transformation is also deeply changing the way we practise pathology. The great advances in cell and molecular biology which have accelerated our understanding of the pathogenesis of solid tumours have been embraced with variable degrees of enthusiasm by diverse medical professional specialties. While histopathologists have not been prompt to adopt molecular diagnostics to date, the need to incorporate molecular pathology into the training of future histopathologists is imperative. Our goal is to create, within an existing 5-year histopathology training curriculum, the structure for formal substantial teaching of molecular diagnostics. This specialist training has two main goals: (1) to equip future practising histopathologists with basic knowledge of molecular diagnostics and (2) to create the option for those interested in a subspecialty experience in tissue molecular diagnostics to pursue this training. It is our belief that this training will help to maintain in future the role of the pathologist at the centre of patient care as the integrator of clinical, morphological and molecular information. Source

Ross F.M.,Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory | Avet-Loiseau H.,University of Nantes | Ameye G.,Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc Brussels | Gutierrez N.C.,University of Salamanca | And 25 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2012

The European Myeloma Network has organized two workshops on fluorescence in situ hybridization in multiple myeloma. The first aimed to identify specific indications and consensus technical approaches of current practice. A second workshop followed a quality control exercise in which 21 laboratories analyzed diagnostic cases of purified plasma cells for recurrent abnormalities. The summary report was discussed at the EHA Myeloma Scientific Working Group Meeting 2010. During the quality control exercise, there was acceptable agreement on more than 1,000 tests. The conclusions from the exercise were that the primary clinical applications for FISH analysis were for newly diagnosed cases of MM or frank relapse cases. A range of technical recommendations included: 1) material should be part of the first draw of the aspirate; 2) samples should be sent at suitable times to allow for the lengthy processing procedure; 3) most importantly, PCs must be purified or specifically identified; 4) positive cut-off levels should be relatively conservative: 10% for fusion or breakapart probes, 20% for numerical abnormalities; 5) informative probes should be combined to best effect; 6) in specialist laboratories, a single experienced analyst is considered adequate; 7) at least 100 PC should be scored; 8) essential abnormalities to test for are t(4;14), t(14;16) and 17p13 deletions; 9) suitable commercial probes should be available for clinically relevant abnormalities; 10) the clinical report should be expressed clearly and must state the percentage of PC involved and the method used for identification; 11) a retrospective European based FISH data bank linked to clinical data should be generated; and 12) prospective analysis should be centralized for upcoming trials based on the recommendations made. The European Myeloma Network aims to build on these recommendations to establish standards for a common European data base to define subgroups with prognostic significance. © 2012 Ferrata Storti Foundation. Source

Drain S.,Haemato Oncology Laboratory | Drain S.,University of Ulster | Flannely L.,Haemato Oncology Laboratory | Flannely L.,University of Ulster | And 8 more authors.
Leukemia Research | Year: 2011

Multi-drug resistance (MDR) leads to impaired treatment efficacy in all forms of malignancy. The main forms of MDR are thought to be mediated by the substrate transporting actions of certain adenosine triphosphate binding cassette (ABC) transport proteins. The genes ABCB1, ABCB4, ABCC1, ABCG2 and LRP1 have been identified as the most prominent contributors to clinically significant MDR. To date, no study has investigated the expression of these genes in plasma cell myeloma (PCM), or attempted to relate their expression to the incidence of relapse and/or stage at presentation. Here, we show that ABCB4 may be a prominent mediator of tumour cell MDR within PCM. Additionally, there are three SNPs (rs1045642, rs2032582 and rs1128503) within the most widely studied of these genes, ABCB1, which have been suggested to have a potential impact on OS in PCM and which may form a haplotype in ABCB1 rs1045642 in ABCB1 appears to be the only SNP affecting OS within the PCM patients studied, with minimal linkage disequilibrium demonstrated between it and rs2032582 and rs1128503. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Drain S.,Haemato Oncology Laboratory | Drain S.,University of Ulster | Catherwood M.A.,Haemato Oncology Laboratory | Catherwood M.A.,University of Ulster | And 2 more authors.
Leukemia and Lymphoma | Year: 2010

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a phenomenon in malignancy whereby tumor cells generate mechanisms to resist cytotoxic treatments. Several such mechanisms have been identified. However, to date the most significant research on MDR has involved the adenosine triphosphate binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins, including P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and multidrug resistance associated protein (MRP). These proteins have natural functions involving substrate transport in normal cells but are detrimental to treatment when expressed in the membrane of tumor cells. It remains unclear whether ABC mediated MDR functions primarily through protein up-regulation or via a relevant signaling mechanism, or is simply due to selective pressure on an already resistant tumor cell subpopulation. Here we present an overview of MDR in the chronic lymphoproliferative disorders (CLPDs), in particular that attributed to the ABC transporter protein family. © 2010 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. Source

Drain S.,Haemato Oncology Laboratory | Drain S.,University of Ulster | Catherwood M.A.,Haemato Oncology Laboratory | Catherwood M.A.,University of Ulster | And 5 more authors.
Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry | Year: 2012

Introduction: Multidrug resistance (MDR) mediated by P-glycoprotein (P-gp) can compromise the successful treatment of many malignancies including plasma cell myeloma (PCM). However, methods do not yet exist that can accurately determine P-gp activity in PCM patient samples. Methods: In this study, we have utilized new advances in flow cytometric methods to determine the activity of P-gp in PCM tumor cells. Furthermore, we have used several PCR-based approaches to perform a pilot study determining the functional impact of ABCB1 SNPs in patients with PCM. Results: No associations were seen between P-gp activity or expression and subgroups of PCM. Similarly, no association was seen between P-gp expression and SNPs within ABCB1 although a nonsignificant reduction in activity was demonstrated for rs1045642 (P = 0.121). Conclusions: We have described a new method for the determination of P-gp and MRP activity suitable for use in clinical studies and have optimized this method to include a gating strategy, allowing routine use on PCM bone marrow aspirate samples. This is the first patient study to consider the full impact of SNPs within ABCB1 all the way from the genome to the proteome in PCM. The methods described here could also be utilized for future studies of "stem cell like" side populations in PCM that are considered to be drug resistant. Furthermore, minor amendments to these methods will facilitate studies of P-gp, MRP, and BCRP activity in other haematological malignancies. Copyright © 2012 International Clinical Cytometry Society. Source

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